April 17, 2014, 09:32:40 PM

Author Topic: Fellow stargazers & nighttime landscape loners!  (Read 5892 times)

Synomis192

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 111
    • View Profile
    • Tumblr/Photoblog
Re: Fellow stargazers & nighttime landscape loners!
« Reply #30 on: December 19, 2012, 05:30:35 AM »
Quick question to the OP, or anyone really:

To capture those stars, constleations, and other space oddities do you need a special body like a 60Da or a modded sensor to capture all that stuff in space? I have a regular Canon 500d and I'm really interested in nighttime long exposure shots. I have all the required stuff to start (tripod, levels, remote trigger w/ timers, a UWA lens). Any tips for me?
Canon 5D - Fine Art/Workhorse
Canon T1i - Modded for Video!
Canon 1DmkII - Sports/Wildlife

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Fellow stargazers & nighttime landscape loners!
« Reply #30 on: December 19, 2012, 05:30:35 AM »

pedro

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 730
    • View Profile
Re: Fellow stargazers & nighttime landscape loners!
« Reply #31 on: December 19, 2012, 06:22:18 AM »
Quick question to the OP, or anyone really:

To capture those stars, constleations, and other space oddities do you need a special body like a 60Da or a modded sensor to capture all that stuff in space? I have a regular Canon 500d and I'm really interested in nighttime long exposure shots. I have all the required stuff to start (tripod, levels, remote trigger w/ timers, a UWA lens). Any tips for me?


Well, your 17-35 lense is quite good to start with. You don't need an awful lot of camera, as long exposure star shots work well at iso 100, F/5.6 or even wide open. if you like a wider lens and will stay aps-c for a while try the 10-22 from canon. I did quite some stuff with my 30D before I went fullframe again.

"3286" color by Peter Hauri, on Flickr
for more stuff:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/guatitamasluz/sets/72157602075454706/
30D, EF-S 10-22/ 5DIII, 16-35 F/2.8 L USM II, 28 F/2.8, 50 F/1.4, 85 F/1.8, 70-200 F/2.8 classic,
join me at http://www.flickr.com/groups/insane_isos/

Mr Bean

  • 7D
  • *****
  • Posts: 338
    • View Profile
Re: Fellow stargazers & nighttime landscape loners!
« Reply #32 on: December 19, 2012, 06:45:11 AM »
Quick question to the OP, or anyone really:

To capture those stars, constleations, and other space oddities do you need a special body like a 60Da or a modded sensor to capture all that stuff in space? I have a regular Canon 500d and I'm really interested in nighttime long exposure shots. I have all the required stuff to start (tripod, levels, remote trigger w/ timers, a UWA lens). Any tips for me?
The short answer is, if you want to take star trails or 30 second snaps of the stars, then the 500D will probably be sufficient, but a 5D is really nice :)

The 60Da is better suited to a certain part of the wave length (more of the red) that is prominent with certain celestial objects, such as nebulae. The usage of the 60Da is best done on a mount that tracks the stars (which is being referred to in this thread), either looking through a telescope or using a telephoto, mounted on a telescope (with a tracking mount).

P.S. I used to make telescopes back in the 80's and did some astrophotography when we used hyper sensitive film - the good 'ol days  ;)
5D mk3 with grip, 300 f4 L, 100 IS Macro L, 50 f1.4, 50 f1.8, 40 f2.8 pancake, 35 f2, 1.4x TC III, Zeiss 15mm f2.8, 24 f1.4 L
580EX II, MT-24EX Macro Flash
EF 12mm and 25mm II Extension tubes

pedro

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 730
    • View Profile
Re: Fellow stargazers & nighttime landscape loners!
« Reply #33 on: December 19, 2012, 06:57:19 AM »
The former poster is right. But if you just like to do nightsky/nightscapes without deep space pics, then here's another link. Lots of tips here from the outstanding nightshooters who came up with the whole thing on a broad scale. A classic page: http://www.thenocturnes.com/
« Last Edit: December 19, 2012, 06:59:20 AM by pedro »
30D, EF-S 10-22/ 5DIII, 16-35 F/2.8 L USM II, 28 F/2.8, 50 F/1.4, 85 F/1.8, 70-200 F/2.8 classic,
join me at http://www.flickr.com/groups/insane_isos/

tron

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1671
    • View Profile
Re: Fellow stargazers & nighttime landscape loners!
« Reply #34 on: December 19, 2012, 07:06:37 AM »
Zeiss 21mm might be my fave now.  The Canon 24L II proved pretty pointless for night sky more open than F2.8 anyway.  Coma extends well into the photo, bad coma, so it tends to make it a little pointless for that added F1.4 to F2.8 range it would allow at night.  Unless one likes big ol wings off their stars I guess.  Samyang 24 F1.4 had less coma and might be interesting.  Canon 14L had plenty of that too.
+1 I use Zeiss 21mm 2.8 fully open. I had used a 16-35mm 2.8 fully open and the stars were ... seagulls at the edges! My 35mm 1.4L has coma too. Thanks for the coma information regarding 24L II and 14L.

emag

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 308
    • View Profile
Re: Fellow stargazers & nighttime landscape loners!
« Reply #35 on: December 19, 2012, 10:10:40 AM »
For wide field I use the Tokina 11-16/2.8.  I have the Rokinon 8mm fisheye but have not been doing much night work with it.  A wide prime is on my medium list, other items are currently on my short list.  I primarily do time lapses with this setup.  For non-timelapse astro I'll use anything from a 300/f4L to a 2250/f10 telescope.

The 60Da is a niche camera and not necessary for what the OP wants.  In any case, it's cheaper to get a 60D and send it out for modification.  Even cheaper to get a T2i/T3i and have it modified.  I use a modified 40D and an unmodified 60D.

For a 'tracking mount' solution, I recommend this as a start, it's cost effective and it works:

http://www.telescope.com/Astrophotography/Astrophotography-Solutions/Orion-Adventures-in-Astrophotography-Bundle/pc/-1/c/4/sc/59/p/27154.uts

As for the Polarie, Astrotrac and other similar devices - they work, and work well, but the prices get up into the range of a used CG5 or SkyViewPro mount.  The CG5 and SVP come with solid tripods and are designed for greater stability than all but very high end photo tripods.  I use a CG5-ASGT for astrophotography with loads up to 20 lbs.  I would prefer an even beefier mount but portability is a big issue for me.

Be advised, astrophotography is not a hobby, it's a sickness.  It cannot be cured, only treated.......with ever more expensive 'medications'; i.e., cameras, lenses, telescopes, mounts, gizmos, etc.  The Affordable Care Act does NOT cover these prescriptions.

I have timelapses at youtube.com/emagowan

Stills including photos of an old telescope mount modified for just what you want to do are at pbase.com/emagowan/astrophotography
The modified mount is an old C8 telescope drive base.  Perfect for this application and not too hard to find.

extremeinstability

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 145
    • View Profile
    • Extreme Instability.com
Re: Fellow stargazers & nighttime landscape loners!
« Reply #36 on: December 19, 2012, 10:45:58 AM »
I wonder if there is anything wider than 50 and probably really wider than 35mm too that is faster than F2.8 and doesn't have much coma full frame edges/corners. 

I'm tempted to try the Samyang 24 F1.4 for the night sky lens when stars are part of the subject. 

http://www.lenstip.com/245.7-Lens_review-Canon_EF_24_mm_f_1.4L_II_USM_Coma_and_astigmatism.html

http://www.lenstip.com/330.7-Lens_review-Samyang_24_mm_f_1.4_ED_AS_UMC_Coma__astigmatism_and_bokeh.html

Sure otherwise the Canon is better but for stars I'd think the Samyang would be better even if wide open it  has less resolution.  If I ever have $600 laying around and a lens buying bug again I'd probably have to go with that.  I really missed the wide faster than F2.8 deal the other night on the meteor shower.  50mm worked ok enough full frame and well 35 F1.4 would have probably been ideal for just that.  But yeah big sky 24mm would be the end of the least wide.

The Samyang 14 really turned out to work well at night.  I had my doubts because of the large vignetting wide open, but really it turned out to be ok.  http://www.extremeinstability.com/2012-12-1.htm  Some night stuff on there with both the Zeiss and the Samyang but not star fields.  The fogbows would not have fit without the 14.  Brief trip with the 24L II at night before I swapped it for a Zeiss 21.  http://www.extremeinstability.com/2012-9-22.htm  Really was pointless to get that one for night over the Zeiss since even F2 coma was nasty anyway.  There was very little improvement.  Least F2.8 is fast enough for most things anyway.  But yeah the meteor deal, F2 felt like a huge improvement over F2.8.  Sure some was 50mm compared to 21mm on them too but it just felt larger than simply F2 to F2.8.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Fellow stargazers & nighttime landscape loners!
« Reply #36 on: December 19, 2012, 10:45:58 AM »

rpt

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 2092
  • Could not wait for 7D2 so I got the 5D3
    • View Profile
Re: Fellow stargazers & nighttime landscape loners!
« Reply #37 on: December 19, 2012, 11:32:17 AM »
Any tips on focusing to infinity - I can't see anything on the screen at 10X at these wide angles (except maybe the moon - which I would focus on if it's out).
I have a 5D m3 and I use a laptop, connected via cable to the camera, to focus. The EOS Utility software that comes with the camera allows you to drive the camera via the computer. One of the options is Live View, which can zoom an image on the laptop screen. Much easier than doing it on the back of the camera :)   (hope that makes sense)

I hired a Zeiss 21mm f2.8 a few weeks back. It uses manual focus, and it does have an infinity stop, like lenses used to have before auto focus. So, that was an easy one to use for night shots. A beautiful lens for such work. I'd like to compare it with the Canon 24mm f1.4, which is a great lens from all accounts. However, I hear there is an element of coma (at the extreme edges) of the 24. The Zeiss had very little coma.
Week before last when I used the 40mm to shoot the stars I used Jupiter to acquire infinity focus.

m8547

  • PowerShot G16
  • **
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
Re: Fellow stargazers & nighttime landscape loners!
« Reply #38 on: December 19, 2012, 12:06:42 PM »
i used the tokina 11-16 on a crop body - works quite fine, 30sec/f2.8/ISO400 gives decent images.
took some 400 shots (last half hour clouds came in :( ) and merged all together:


Sternenhimmel über dem Zwüschbi by SwissBear85, on Flickr

On a crop, i would suggest the tokina 11-16 II - should have better flare-controll and other benefits ;)


After some searching, the only differences I can find in the II version are better coatings (better flare control and maybe slightly better transmission) and one more of the elements is SD (low dispersion) glass. There's also something about a GMR sensor for the front element to improve auto focus, but I can't tell if that's for Nikon, Canon, or both? Are there any good reviews of the II version? Is it worth the extra $150?


I've thought about getting a Samyang 35mm F/1.4 for star shots as it seems to do very well wide open, but it probably wouldn't be wide enough to be really useful on my crop body.

I plan to build a barn door tracker like this:
http://www.keteu.org/posts/a_smart_barn_door_drive.html
It's probably the most cost effective way to improve my star photos, and I can build one for well under $100. There are simpler plans out there (even manual ones), but I like the approach of this one because I'm an electrical engineer.

Now I just need to find somewhere dark enough to get good photos!

SwissBear

  • Rebel SL1
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
    • View Profile
Re: Fellow stargazers & nighttime landscape loners!
« Reply #39 on: December 19, 2012, 02:46:47 PM »
i used the tokina 11-16 on a crop body - works quite fine, 30sec/f2.8/ISO400 gives decent images.
took some 400 shots (last half hour clouds came in :( ) and merged all together:


Sternenhimmel über dem Zwüschbi by SwissBear85, on Flickr

On a crop, i would suggest the tokina 11-16 II - should have better flare-controll and other benefits ;)


After some searching, the only differences I can find in the II version are better coatings (better flare control and maybe slightly better transmission) and one more of the elements is SD (low dispersion) glass. There's also something about a GMR sensor for the front element to improve auto focus, but I can't tell if that's for Nikon, Canon, or both? Are there any good reviews of the II version? Is it worth the extra $150?


I've thought about getting a Samyang 35mm F/1.4 for star shots as it seems to do very well wide open, but it probably wouldn't be wide enough to be really useful on my crop body.

I plan to build a barn door tracker like this:
http://www.keteu.org/posts/a_smart_barn_door_drive.html
It's probably the most cost effective way to improve my star photos, and I can build one for well under $100. There are simpler plans out there (even manual ones), but I like the approach of this one because I'm an electrical engineer.

Now I just need to find somewhere dark enough to get good photos!


The flares of version I are pretty bad - in this shot you can actually see moonflares on the right side between the startrails - if you know where to look. the version II is on my shoppinglist - as the lens i used belongs to a friend of mine ;)

For location... i shot from a location 2100m AMSL where the next seasonally inhabitet hut (!) is 1.5hr walking distance, as is the end of a dirt track that is passable with a 4WD car. One of the more remote places in switzerland ;)
« Last Edit: December 19, 2012, 02:55:19 PM by SwissBear »
EOS 600D - 24-105L - 40f/2.8 - 85f/1.8 - 580ii - Lensbaby Muse, Composer with Plastic, Double Glass, Edge 80
Tokina 11-16f/2.8 - Sigma 150mm OS Macro
Flickr

m8547

  • PowerShot G16
  • **
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
Re: Fellow stargazers & nighttime landscape loners!
« Reply #40 on: December 19, 2012, 05:56:10 PM »
I know version 1 is known for flare, but I'm not convinced that version II is much better. One of the only reviews I can find for the II is from Ken Rockwell, and the flare picture he has for that is just as bad or worse than the version I. I'd like to see a side-by-side comparison or hear from someone with first-hand experience before I spend the extra $150 on the new one. I'm sure it's better (or they wouldn't advertise it that way), but is it noticeable or significant?

If you get the 11-16 II, let me know how it works out for you! In the mean time, I'll keep waiting to see if a used version I becomes available.

This is my favorite website for finding dark places in the US:
http://www.jshine.net/astronomy/dark_sky/

Green or darker is typically good, but it can take a lot of driving to get somewhere dark enough. Where I am right now, the nearest green zone is about 2 hours away, and that's not even spectacular. The nearest blue zone is about 3.5 hours away. Getting to light gray is 4.5 hours minimum, and there is no dark gray zone east of Nebraska!

Here's a shot of the Milky Way in a green light pollution zone on a very clear night. It  was taken with my 18-55 IS II at 18mm, 30s, ISO1600 on my T3i.

IMG_3113.jpg by m8547, on Flickr
I think it's not bad, though it is pushed to the limit in terms of ISO, noise, and exposure time (rotation of the earth). I think a barn door tracker is the way to go since I can't afford a full frame camera with better noise performance and because ultra wide lenses don't get much faster.

I did a series of shorter exposures that night hoping to stack them, but that didn't really work the way I expected. For some reason I was thinking they would add and make a brighter picture with less noise, but most of the faint detail in the shorter exposures was just lost in the noise. Maybe I'm just not doing the stacking right.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Fellow stargazers & nighttime landscape loners!
« Reply #40 on: December 19, 2012, 05:56:10 PM »